My name is Aquil Tajiddin and I’m a Philadelphia-based, East Coast traveling photographer and digital artist. My interest behind the camera was sparked initially by my love of music and capturing it visually. As I developed my skill, I took the same elements that made for great music and concert photographs and applied them to conceptual art. My work is probably best characterized by stark contrast and unexpected instances of either extreme vibrancy or dullness. In my continued growth, I aim to produce pieces that raise great questions and then tailor their answers to each individual viewer.
Special shoutout to Afro-punk, for which I’m a campus ambassador at Hampton University. This group of students perfectly exemplifies everything that Afro-punk represents: pride in individuality. These students understand that “black” doesn’t have to look a specific way. It doesn’t have to like a specific set of things. Black is diverse, from complexion to culture. It’s not in a clothing label, nor is it in a genre of music and these guys get it. Black isn’t defined or described by ignorance. Being an informed, intellectual, well-rounded individual doesn’t equate “acting white.” Black goes beyond the stereotypes. We are the proof.
These students have interests that are not centered around what is widely accepted as “black culture.” At an HBCU, these six are fearless in their self-expression. What they like is what they like, be it rock, rap, or electronic dance music, urban fashion, high fashion, or skatewear. Put simply, these young men and women are Afro-punk and it was a pleasure to shoot them.
Thank you all.
In order of appearance: Veronica, Cameron, Paige, Shakari, Felecia, Jamaal.
Follow them on twitter: @verocakes_, @Cam_Major, @paige_mariah, @TRAKGIRL, @FeleciaGenet, @iAmMrRoc.
Also check out Afro-punk on Facebook and Twitter for more information: facebook.com/afropunk, @afropunk.